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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail Historical Markers

Over 100 markers throughout downtown, are at significant locations along the 1963 Civil Rights march routes. Designed as a self-guided tour, the trail speaks to the valor of both common people and to the spiritual leaders who spearheaded the fight against segregation and other forms of racism.
 
A City of Two Governments paired marker image, Touch for more information
By Mark Hilton
A City of Two Governments paired marker
1 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — A14 — A City of Two Governments — March Route to Government — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
In 1963, Birmingham underwent a major political transformation. To force Commissioner “Bull” Connor from office, progressive Whites and Blacks plotted to change the form of government from Commissioners to a Mayor-Council system. Mayor Albert . . . Map (db m187705) HM
2 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — F3 — A New Organization is Born — March Route for Moral Justice — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Rev. Shuttlesworth and his fellow ministers agreed to call the replacement organization the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) so that its reach was both statewide and its aims wider than the African American community. Adding . . . Map (db m188971) HM
3 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — F4 — A New Strategy: All-Out Attack — March Route for Moral Justice — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
The ACMHR used nonviolent direct action as its preferred method of attacking racial segregation. This was a clear break from the tactics and strategies of the traditional black middle-class leadership that focused on petitions and lawsuits. Under . . . Map (db m188978) HM
4 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C10 — A. G. Gaston Building — Destination — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1959-60, 1517 5th Ave. N. The A. G. Gaston Building's second floor conference room was the location of regular meetings of “Project C's” Coordinating Committee. Here, they planned strategies for the April - May 1963 marches, boycotts, . . . Map (db m187976) HM
5 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — F15 — ACMHR & the Second Revolution — March Route for Moral Justice — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Rev. Shuttlesworth returned frequently to Birmingham to lead the ACMHR in a strategic alliance with the SCLC to bring national attention to Birmingham and the need to end racial discrimination in America. ACMHR staff worked with the SCLC's . . . Map (db m189139) HM
6 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — F13 — ACMHR & the Student Activists — March Route for Moral Justice — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Because of his fearlessness, college student activists who staged sit-ins and integrated bus rides in the 1960s knew they could depend on support from Rey. Shuttlesworth and the ACMHR. He supported Miles College student leader Frank Dukes and his . . . Map (db m189134) HM
7 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C17 — Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame — (Historic Carver Theater) — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built in 1935, remodeled 1945 (corner 4th Ave. N. & 17th St. N.) The Carver Theatre for the Performing Arts was built in 1935 and refitted in 1945 with all of the modern comforts and features of the day, including 1,300 theatre chairs and . . . Map (db m188189) HM
8 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C22 — Alabama Penny Savings Bank/Pythian Temple Building — Destination — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1913, 310 18th St. N. The Alabama Penny Savings Bank, founded by Sixteenth Street Baptist Church pastor Rev. William R. Pettiford, was Alabama's first Black-owned bank and the second-largest Black bank in the country by 1907. He . . . Map (db m188950) HM
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9 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — D6 — Alabama's Rebel Yell — March Route for Education — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Southern members of the U.S. Congress in 1956 issued the "Southern Manifesto” that called the U.S. Supreme Court's Brown decision an "abuse of judicial power." By forcing public school integration contrary to social custom, the high court had . . . Map (db m187661) HM
10 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — E4 — Answering the Call — March Route Towards a Purposeful Life — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Shuttlesworth began to dedicate himself to the ministry and enrolled in Cedar Grove Bible College, a Baptist institution in the Mobile suburb of Pritchard. He took classes at night while he worked during the day. The young couple added two more . . . Map (db m187628) HM
11 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — A10 — Arrested at City Hall — March Route to Government — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Child protestors overwhelmed police, who found it hard to confine them to the Kelly Ingram Park area. Organizers used clever methods to get them to City Hall before police could stop them. Children were sent out in pairs. When they got closer to . . . Map (db m187836) HM
12 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — H21 — Attorney for His People — March Route for Fair Housing — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
1949 For four decades, Shores was deeply involved in civil rights challenges handling dozens of cases primarily for the Birmingham branch of the NAACP on behalf of African Americans. In the 1940s, the Birmingham NAACP had grown to more . . . Map (db m189188) HM
13 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C6 — Ballard-Hamilton House and Office — Destination — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1940, 1420 7th Ave. N. The Ballard House honors a time when thriving neighborhoods; businesses, churches, social, cultural, and civic organizations; made up a dynamic African-American community during the first half of the 20th . . . Map (db m187886) HM
14 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — F2 — Bethel's Pastor Leads the Leaders — March Route for Moral Justice — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Alabama's chapters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) were particularly effective in filing federal lawsuits that challenged racial segregation laws and advocating for voting rights. NAACP members also . . . Map (db m188970) HM
15 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C30 — Birmingham City Hall — Destination — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1947-50, 710 20th St. N. Birmingham City Hall was the administrative center for the enforcement of local segregation codes. Thus, this building was one of the major destination points for the “Project C" marchers in the 1963 . . . Map (db m187717) HM
16 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C1 — Birmingham Civil Rights Institute — Destination — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1992, 520 16th St. N. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute contains permanent exhibitions and photo galleries, offering visitors a self-directed journey through the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s to the human rights . . . Map (db m187515) HM
17 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — E1 — Birth of an Icon — March Route Towards a Purposeful Life — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Freddie Lee Robinson was born March 18, 1922, in Mt. Meigs, Montgomery County, Alabama, to Alberta Robinson and Vetter Greene. The unmarried couple also conceived a girl, Cleola. Because Vetter could not provide for his growing family, Alberta's . . . Map (db m187631) HM
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18 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — F8 — Birth of the SCLC — March Route for Moral Justice — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
In January 1957, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., called ministers of the church-led movements in Southern cities, including Montgomery and Birmingham, to a meeting in Atlanta to form a national organization to help them all. Civil rights activist . . . Map (db m189109) HM
19 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — H2 — Black Birmingham Housing — March Route for Fair Housing — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
1937 Most of Birmingham's housing started as cheap, poorly built living quarters that large coal and mining companies created near their factories for their workers. Living in camp town housing carried a stigma that many Blacks and . . . Map (db m189162) HM
20 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — B4 — Black Business Plans — March Route to Retail — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
The economic center of the Black retail district was on nearby Fourth Avenue North. This historic area also served as the main cultural, social and religious center of Black Birmingham. Blacks felt more relaxed among their own people in and . . . Map (db m187761) HM
21 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — H13 — Black Classes and the Masses — March Route for Fair Housing — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
1955 By the 1950s, North Smithfield was the residential area of choice for a new generation of Black middle-class families, despite the terror bombings meant to scare them away. This new generation of African American leaders included A. . . . Map (db m189171) HM
22 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C34 — Boutwell Auditorium — (Former Municipal Auditorium) — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1924 (Extended in 1957), 1930 8th Ave. N. In 1924, Municipal Auditorium was one of the South's largest (6,000 seats) and most modern auditoriums. In April of 1956, Ku Klux Klansman Asa Carter led an attack on Montgomery native and . . . Map (db m187715) HM
23 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — B17 — Celebrity Star Power — March Route to Retail — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Celebrities of all races - but particularly Black singers and actors such as Harry Belafonte, Sammy Davis, Jr., Eartha Kitt, Lena Horne, and Ossie Davis with wife Ruby Dee - played important roles in the Movement. Some, including comedian Dick . . . Map (db m187822) HM
24 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — H17 — Children of Dynamite Hill — March Route for Fair Housing — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
1961 Black middle-class families who moved to North Smithfield included the Davises, the Coars, the Monks, the Browns, the Coles, the Adamses, the Wesleys, the Gaillards, the Powells, the Halls, the Nalls, the Browns, the Nixons, the . . . Map (db m189181) HM
25 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — A6 — Children Under Attack — March Route to Government — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
The use of schoolchildren in the Movement unnerved Police Commissioner "Bull” Connor, as well as the rest of Birmingham. But the success of “D-Day” led to a second day, “Double D-Day," where more children, about 2,000, skipped school to protest. . . . Map (db m187838) HM
26 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — B6 — Children Under Pressure — March Route to Retail — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Rev. Bevel gave Birmingham children a chance to play important roles in the struggle for equality. As their field marshal, he turned hundreds of recruits into an effective non-violent army that “Project C" unleashed on the retail district. Images . . . Map (db m187767) HM
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27 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — D9 — Children's Crusade for Education — March Route for Education — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Birmingham's Black schoolchildren played an important role in moving the city toward ending legal segregation. Under the leadership of SCLC field coordinators, thousands of children left their segregated schools to join the marches in the downtown . . . Map (db m187682) HM
28 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C16 — Colored Masonic Temple — Destination — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1922, 1630 4th Ave. N. Built and designed by African Americans, the Colored Masonic Temple served as their only major business and social meeting place for decades. The Temple's gilded auditorium hosted many elegant social functions . . . Map (db m188188) HM
29 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — B10 — Courthouse Prayer — March Route to Retail — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
In the 1940s and 1950s, the NAACP filed a stream of lawsuits against Jim Crow laws that had given Whites political, economic and social superiority over Blacks for more than 100 years. Most of Birmingham's NAACP cases, filed by local Black . . . Map (db m187775) HM
30 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — E20 — Death of an Icon — March Route Towards a Purposeful Life — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Rev. Shuttlesworth often said he expected to die at an early age in his toe-to-toe battles with violent White segregationists who were bent on maintaining power. But he outlived Dr. King and Rev. Abernathy, the last of "the Big Three." He lived . . . Map (db m187571) HM
31 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — D13 — Desegregating Ramsay School — March Route for Education — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Many African Americans continued to push for the right to an equal education that the 1954 Brown decision gave them. Despite angry threats of violence and intense economic pressure, those first few African American families in Birmingham who chose . . . Map (db m187693) HM
32 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — D12 — Desegregating West End School — March Route for Education — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Community civil rights leaders who helped organize the Movement and embraced the philosophy of nonviolence looked for well-disciplined children with good moral character who would at retaliate if they encountered bullying or violence by White . . . Map (db m187690) HM
33 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — B1 — Don't Tread on Me — March Route to Retail — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) learned they could apply economic pressure to White businesses with more effective results than moral persuasion alone. Therefore, the central strategy of the Birmingham Campaign . . . Map (db m73037) HM
34 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C18 — Dunbar Hotel Building Urban Impact Office, — Destination — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1917, 1701 4th Ave. N. From 1900 to 1960, the Fourth Avenue area west of 18th Street in downtown Birmingham was the business, social and cultural center of the city's African-American community. Every major historical and cultural . . . Map (db m188039) HM
35 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C20 — Eddie Kendricks Memorial Park — Destination — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1999, SW corner of 4th Ave. N. & 18th St. N. Urban Impact worked with artist Ronald McDowell who wanted to create a public park along Fourth Avenue to honor Eddie Kendricks, Birmingham native and a lead singer of the legendary Motown . . . Map (db m188036) HM
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36 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — D4 — Education of Black Folk — March Route for Education — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Black leaders debated how best to educate their children to live in a racially segregated society. Former slave Booker T. Washington, founder of Tuskegee Institute, was America's leading Black spokesman at the turn of the 20th century and promoted . . . Map (db m187636) HM
37 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — B13 — Equality for All — March Route to Retail — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Constant mistreatment by a brutal police force, a racist state government and a White community that was either hostile or unconcerned pushed many Blacks in Birmingham to the breaking point. Many were stuck in low-paying, low-level jobs. Most . . . Map (db m187785) HM
38 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C19 — Famous Theatre — Destination — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1928, 1717 4th Ave. N. During the entertainment boom of the 1920s, The Famous, an African-American movie theater, joined the Frolic, Lincoln, Champion, Dixie and Savoy Theaters as places of entertainment for African-Americans who . . . Map (db m188038) HM
39 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — H18 — First Neighborhoods, then Schools — March Route for Fair Housing — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
September 1963 The increasing number of new African American families moving onto Dynamite Hill required the building of a new school. The city's segregation laws prevented their children from attending all-White Graymont Elementary, even . . . Map (db m189184) HM
40 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C23 — Former F.W. Woolworth Store Building — Destination — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1939, 1901 3rd Ave. N. The F. W. Woolworth department store was one of the first sites targeted for the ACMHR and SCLC's economic boycotts and lunch counter sit-ins of “Project C” during the April - May 1963 mass demonstrations in . . . Map (db m188183) HM
41 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — H20 — Gentle Giant of Dynamite Hill — March Route for Fair Housing — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
As both a lawyer and Smithfield real estate developer, Arthur Davis Shores' story is also the story of Dynamite Hill. He played a central role in African Americans' legal fight to build and buy houses where they wished, including the “White . . . Map (db m189185) HM
42 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C29 — Greyhound Bus Station — Destination — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1950 (Remodeled in the 1970s), 618 19th St. N. The Greyhound bus station was a stop of the 1961 Freedom Riders, a group of Blacks and Whites who rode buses together across state lines to disobey segregation laws in the Deep South. A . . . Map (db m187718) HM
43 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — B3 — Guards at the Gate — March Route to Retail — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Unfair laws forced Birmingham Blacks to create their own distinctive world of economic and social self-reliance. The historic Black business district extended several blocks around Kelly Ingram Park and contained a concentration of Black-owned . . . Map (db m187760) HM
44 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — D14 — Historic Demonstration at Phillips School — March Route for Education — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
[Note: a portion of the wording on the first panel of the marker has been torn away.(See photo #1)] Paired marker September 9, 1957 In 1957, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and his followers in the Alabama Christian Movement for . . . Map (db m187702) HM
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45 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — D5 — Hope Arrives — March Route for Education — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) used its Legal Defense and Educational Fund and its team of skilled lawyers to attack the "separate but equal” education laws. Beginning in the 1930s, the NAACP filed lawsuits . . . Map (db m187658) HM
46 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — D11 — Integration Begins: Desegregating Graymont School — March Route for Education — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
As Birmingham's civil rights leaders pushed to desegregate city schools, radical opponents in Birmingham pushed back, sometimes violently. Responses against school integration included death threats by telephone to parents who dared send their . . . Map (db m187686) HM
47 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — B18 — Integration Corner — March Route to Retail — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
After White business leaders failed to remove segregation signs and hire African Americans, by 1963 Birmingham Blacks felt betrayed by broken promises. Many Whites wanted the change that Blacks demanded to be gradual. Some Whites reasoned that . . . Map (db m187824) HM
48 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — F1 — It Began at Bethel — March Route for Moral Justice — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Birmingham's rise to national prominence in the modern American Civil Rights Movement began several years after Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth arrived in March 1953 to pastor Bethel Baptist Church, founded in 1904. The church's prior pastors were . . . Map (db m188962) HM
49 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — A1 — Jim Crow on the Books — March Route to Government — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
The first march to City Hall was organized in 1955 by Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth when he petitioned the city to hire Negro policemen. By 1963, thousands of Blacks marched on City Hall to protest Jim Crow laws that were a constant reminder of Blacks' . . . Map (db m73036) HM
50 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — A9 — Joining the Marches — March Route to Government — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
People across the country took notice of the Birmingham demonstrations. Donations began pouring in to help post bail for hundreds of marchers, mostly children. Local leaders estimated the amount for bail at well over $200,000. As anger grew in . . . Map (db m187835) HM
51 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C2 — Kelly Ingram Park — Destination — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1871 (renovated from 1979 to mid-1990s), 1601 & 1630 6th Ave. N. Kelly Ingram Park was the main battleground in the 1963 Birmingham Campaign, dubbed “Project C" (with “C” meaning "Confrontation"). The campaign was the . . . Map (db m187845) HM
52 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — F9 — Leading by Example, Part 1 — March Route for Moral Justice — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
A key reason for Rev. Shuttlesworth's success was that he led the ACMHR by example. He was the first to put himself, even his family, in harm's way for the sake of the Movement. He did not ask ACMHR members to do anything he was not willing to do . . . Map (db m189112) HM
53 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — F10 — Leading by Example, Part 2 — March Route for Moral Justice — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Another goal of the ACMHR was school desegregation. ACMHR members like barber James Armstrong filed lawsuits to put their children in better-funded all-White schools after the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of . . . Map (db m189114) HM
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54 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — F14 — Leaving Town, But Not the Battle — March Route for Moral Justice — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
1962 Segregation was still a way of life despite the ACMHR's heroic and dangerous direct action campaigns and its multiple lawsuits. Rev. Shuttlesworth knew he needed to put more pressure on the city. He and other ACMHR leaders spent . . . Map (db m189137) HM
55 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — B16 — Let My Brother Go — March Route to Retail — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
The non-violent marches for freedom in Birmingham inspired sympathy demonstrations in Alabama, across the United States and around the world. Average Americans began to insist that the federal government step in to guarantee Blacks their rights . . . Map (db m187821) HM
56 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C32 — Linn-Henley Research Library — Destination — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1926-27, 701 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N. The Birmingham Public Library was the city's main branch for 57 years. It was one of several protest target sites during the 1963 Birmingham Campaign. Like the city parks, Birmingham's most . . . Map (db m187712) HM
57 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — B9 — Little Boy Blue — March Route to Retail — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. replaced his initial reluctance to using "children as foot soldiers' with approval. Thousands of newly recruited child foot soldiers successfully marched toward the retail district, with hundreds arrested for the . . . Map (db m187773) HM
58 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — D3 — Little Lady Can Read — March Route for Education — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Immediately after the Civil War, Northern church groups funded by sympathetic Whites rushed to the South to start elementary schools and colleges to educate freed slaves. Soon afterward, Blacks took the lead in educating their own children. . . . Map (db m187635) HM
59 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — B8 — Little Lady in Waiting — March Route to Retail — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Rev. Bevel and his SCLC team targeted high school students such as cheerleaders, football players and other student leaders as foot soldiers in the Movement. These popular teens could influence their peers to join the sit-ins, pickets and . . . Map (db m188922) HM
60 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — E3 — Love & Marriage — March Route Towards a Purposeful Life — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
While working his first job after high school at the Southern Club in Birmingham, he fell in love with a fellow co-worker, Ruby Lanette Keeler (b. May 30, 1922). He was smitten with her beauty, complete with dark brown skin and long wavy hair. . . . Map (db m187629) HM
61 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C25 — Loveman's Department Store/McWane Science Center — Destination — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1934-35 (remodeled into science center 1997), 216 19th St. N. The Loveman's Department Store (originally Loveman, Joseph, & Loeb), was a high-and retail store targeted for economic boycotts, pickets. "Project C" coordinators . . . Map (db m188173) HM
62 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — D15 — March Route for Education Timeline — March Route for Education — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
National Register of Historic Places In many ways, the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision fueled the modern Civil Rights Movement. The NAACP's legal team strategically chipped away at the “separate but equal" doctrine to end . . . Map (db m188205) HM
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63 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — A7 — Marchers on the Run — March Route to Government — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
On nightly news programs and in newspapers, the images of Birmingham children under police attack shocked and sickened the nation. It was the reaction that “Project C” organizers had hoped for. The "Children's Crusade” revived the Birmingham . . . Map (db m187837) HM
64 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C13 — Metropolitan AME Zion Church — Destination — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1955, 1530 4th Ave. N. Metropolitan AME Zion Church was one of the Movement churches, hosting ACMHR mass meetings in 1962 and serving as one of the starting points of the massive demonstrations of April - May 1963. “Project C" . . . Map (db m188033) HM
65 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — B15 — Music in the Movement — March Route to Retail — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Music was as much a tool in the Birmingham Movement as the marches themselves. The Movement Choir organized by the ACMHR performed regularly during the Monday night mass church meetings. The choir sang songs such as "God Will Make a Way Some How" . . . Map (db m187820) HM
66 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C26 — Newberry's Department Store/IMAX Dome Theater — Destination — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1916, Remodeled as an IMAX Theater in 1997, 200 19th St. N. The former Newberry's Department Store was also one of the first major retail stores where "Project C" demonstrators staged economic boycotts and lunch counter sit-ins to . . . Map (db m188072) HM
67 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — A3 — Non-Violent Foot Soldiers — March Route to Government — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
The central principle of the American Civil Rights Movement was non-violence, based on the strategies of Mahatma Gandhi, who led India's independence struggle against the British Empire. Being non-violent did not mean being passive. Using "direct . . . Map (db m83833) HM
68 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — E15 — Paying the Ultimate Price — March Route Towards a Purposeful Life — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Rev. Shuttlesworth was not completely satisfied with the settlement Dr. King worked out with Birmingham's White power structure to end “Project C” while he lay injured at the hospital. Even so, Birmingham's African Americans finally won their . . . Map (db m187593) HM
69 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C35 — Phillips High School — (Now Phillips Academy) — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1923, 2316 7th Ave N. Phillips High School was the flagship school in the center of Birmingham. It was named for John Herbert Phillips, the city's highly-esteemed first school superintendent, who served from 1883 until his death in . . . Map (db m187704) HM
70 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — B12 — Picketing for a Point — March Route to Retail — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Rev. Shuttlesworth recruited Dr. King and the SCLC to build publicity for the Birmingham Movement, King invited popular jazz singer Al Hibbler, one of the first celebrities to take part in the “Project C" marches. King hoped Hibbler's arrest . . . Map (db m187782) HM
71 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — A2 — Police Presence — March Route to Government — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Birmingham Blacks had no love for police, who often harassed and brutalized them rather than protect them from bombings and violence. Some policemen were suspected Ku Klux Klan members or sympathizers. Public Safety Commissioner Eugene “Bull” . . . Map (db m73032) HM
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72 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C8 — Poole Funeral Chapel — Destination — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1952, 1501 7th Ave. N. Poole Funeral Chapel served as a “safe haven” for demonstrators during “Project C's” mass civil rights demonstrations in April - May 1963. In 1957, its owners, brothers John and Ernest Poole, came to the rescue . . . Map (db m187905) HM
73 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — A11 — Public Library Desegregated — March Route to Government — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Some of the marchers in the Movement also went to the main Birmingham Public Library, where Blacks were not allowed to go. As always, separate did not mean equal in Birmingham. Its Black citizens had a small library located in rented space at the . . . Map (db m187830) HM
74 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — H1 — Racial Zoning — March Route for Fair Housing — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
April 1916 On April 10, 1916, the U.S. Supreme Court heard a case from Louisville, Kentucky, where it was illegal to sell homes to Blacks in areas where Whites lived. The high court's 1917 decision in Buchanan v. Warley said Louisville's . . . Map (db m189158) HM
75 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — H15 — Resistance on the Hill — March Route for Fair Housing — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
1960 This Center Street Historic District was carved from the plantation of Joseph Riley Smith, who subdivided 600 acres that became Smithfield in 1886. In 1898, the Smithfield community was home to many Whites, including Italian and . . . Map (db m189177) HM
76 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — H23 — Rev. Shuttlesworth Calls for Peace and Action — March Route for Fair Housing — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
The explosions in August and the deaths of the girls and two boys in acts of violence on September 15, all attached to school integration in 1963, deeply shook Birmingham. The violence stoked deep resentment and anger in the Black . . . Map (db m189191) HM
77 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C24 — S.H. Kress Store Building — Destination — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1937, 301 19th St. N. The S. H. Kress store was another site of economic boycotts and lunch counter sit-ins during the student-led protests of Miles College students and their leader Frank Dukes in 1962 and “Project C” in 1963. Retail . . . Map (db m188176) HM
78 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — D8 — School Integration Now — March Route for Education — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Birmingham had the well-earned reputation of being America's deadliest defender of segregation in the 1950s and 1960s. Civil rights leaders Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, head of the local Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) and Dr. . . . Map (db m187681) HM
79 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — H11 — Secret Multiracial Meetings — March Route for Fair Housing — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
1953 During the early 1950s, moderate White business leaders pressured city officials to find and prosecute the Dynamite Hill bombers and explore racial reforms. In April 1951, some worked with moderate Blacks to form the Interracial . . . Map (db m189176) HM
80 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — B2 — Selective Buying Campaign — March Route to Retail — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
White businessmen failed to integrate their stores and remove "Colored” signs from water fountains and dressing rooms as promised in 1962. As a result, Miles College students led by Frank Dukes organized a boycott against the stores. They . . . Map (db m187758) HM
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81 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — D2 — Separate But Unequal Education — March Route for Education — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Many social scientists of the early 20th century promoted the false belief that Blacks were intellectually and socially inferior to Whites and fit only for service jobs. Blacks, therefore, did not deserve to be educated on the same level as . . . Map (db m187633) HM
82 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C11 — Shores-Lee Law Offices/Post Office Garage — Destination — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1924 (remodeled for offices in 1995), 413 16th St. N. Judge Helen Shores Lee bought this one-story building, a garage from the U.S. Post Office, in 1995 and turned into a law center to honor her father, pioneer civil rights lawyer . . . Map (db m188192) HM
83 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — B20 — Shutting Down Downtown — March Route to Retail — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
The mass demonstrations of “Project C” forced White Birmingham's elite business leaders and downtown merchants back to the bargaining table in May 1963. Once again, leaders of Black Birmingham's power structure presented a list of demands in . . . Map (db m187828) HM
84 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — E18 — Shuttlesworth after the Civil Rights Era — March Route Towards a Purposeful Life — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Although Rev. Shuttlesworth resigned from his positions within the ACMHR and the SCLC in 1969, his dedication to the cause of equality for African Americans continued for decades after the height of the American Civil Rights Movement. A split . . . Map (db m187576) HM
85 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — E16 — Shuttlesworth Continues the Struggle — March Route Towards a Purposeful Life — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
"Project C” and the bombing of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church were powerful motivators to end racial discrimination in America, but they were not enough a year later. Even after the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963, . . . Map (db m187591) HM
86 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — E5 — Shuttlesworth Goes to Work — March Route Towards a Purposeful Life — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
1955 After arriving in Birmingham, Rev. Shuttlesworth became active with the local NAACP and became its membership chair. He organized 76 Birmingham ministers to petition Birmingham's commissioners to hire Black police officers. The petition . . . Map (db m187625) HM
87 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — E17 — Shuttlesworth in Selma — March Route Towards a Purposeful Life — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
One of the last major battles in the struggle for African American civil rights came in Selma, Alabama. Despite the new Civil Rights Act of 1964, African Americans still faced difficulty voting. Although they had the right to vote under the . . . Map (db m187587) HM
88 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — E19 — Shuttlesworth Returns to Birmingham — March Route Towards a Purposeful Life — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Birmingham's new leaders were much kinder to Rev. Shuttlesworth than their predecessors. In 1978, officials renamed one of the city's main roads in his honor. The city's first African-American mayor, Richard Arrington, Jr., requested his return . . . Map (db m187573) HM
89 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — E14 — Shuttlesworth Showdown — March Route Towards a Purposeful Life — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
In 1961, Rev. Shuttlesworth finally gave in to his wife Ruby's wishes to leave Birmingham to become pastor of Revelation Baptist Church in Cincinnati. But he returned to Birmingham often to organize the Monday night mass meetings and lead the . . . Map (db m187597) HM
90 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — E6 — Shuttlesworth Starts the ACMHR — March Route Towards a Purposeful Life — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
By mid-1956, the Montgomery Bus Boycott was crippling that city's economic base. To stop its success, pro-segregationists searched for a legal loophole to block the NAACP, one of the boycott organizers. That loophole was that it had failed to . . . Map (db m187605) HM
91 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — E7 — Shuttlesworth v. "Bull" — March Route Towards a Purposeful Life — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
The newly formed ACMHR continued Rev. Shuttlesworth's battle to hire Black Birmingham police officers, mainly as a way to stop White officers from harassing, beating and, in some cases, even killing Black citizens. When the city rejected the . . . Map (db m187602) HM
92 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — B19 — Sitting in for Lunch — March Route to Retail — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
On February 1, 1960, four Black college students in Greensboro, North Carolina, sat down at Woolworth's "Whites Only" lunch counter. This started a national movement where Blacks used sit-ins as a direct, non-violent action to combat segregation . . . Map (db m187827) HM
93 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C3 — Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and Parsonage — Destination — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1911, 1530 6th Ave. N. Sixteenth Street Baptist Church was designed by Wallace Rayfield, a renowned Black architect. It was among Birmingham's most prominent African-American churches. By the time of the 1963 Birmingham Movement, it . . . Map (db m187523) HM
94 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C5 — Sixth Avenue Zion Hill Baptist Church — (Now Deliverance Temple) — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1959, 1410 & 1414 6th Ave. N. Sixth Avenue Zion Hill Baptist Church hosted strategy and mass meetings during the Birmingham Movement. It also served as one of the departure points for the April 12, 1963, Good Friday march to City . . . Map (db m187880) HM
95 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — B21 — South at the White House — March Route to Retail — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
The Birmingham Movement was a defining moment for African Americans determined to win equal citizenship in their own country. Pictures and stories from the Birmingham struggle touched the hearts of the nation and the world. Often injured by . . . Map (db m188908) HM
96 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — D10 — Southern Resistance — March Route for Education — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
In Alabama, White parents used the 1956 Alabama Pupil Placement Act that let them “choose” which public schools their children would attend. When Black parents in Birmingham tried to use the same law to send their children to White schools, . . . Map (db m187685) HM
97 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C7 — St John AME Church and Day Care Center — Destination — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1973, 708 15th St. N. St. John AME Church and Day Care Center are on the site of the former church that hosted Monday night mass meetings during the early 1960s. It was also a center where “Project C" leaders came to strategize about . . . Map (db m187892) HM
98 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C4 — St. Paul United Methodist Church — Destination — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1904; Renovations 1948-51, 1500 6th Ave. N. St. Paul United Methodist Church was the site of the first mass meeting held on Dec. 26, 1956, following the ACMHR's (Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights) first major direct action . . . Map (db m187868) HM
99 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — C14 — Taxi Stand — Destination — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
Built 1949, 1622 4th Ave. N. This small, one-story, brick commercial taxi stand building was constructed after the passage of a 1930 City of Birmingham ordinance that required separate taxi services for Blacks and Whites. Rev. George . . . Map (db m188185) HM
100 Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham — H16 — The Angela Davis House — March Route for Fair Housing — Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail —
1946 This two-story Queen-Anne-style house at the corner of Center Street and 11th Court North was built around 1900 for the Hayes family. White neighbors objected when they learned the Hayes family sold their house to a Black couple, . . . Map (db m189180) HM

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Apr. 14, 2024